I was able to see the new Marvel Cinematic Universe entry, Black Panther, with my wife. We both had somewhat mixed feelings, but overall a good impression.
It is amazing that with this film being the 18th installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that it is as captivating as it is. This newest installment is neither the best nor the worst in the series. Perhaps like wine this movie will get better with time, but in the meantime it is right in the middle of the pack of Marvel movies.
Nearly all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films have been great. They have compelling stories, stunning effects, and convincing acting. Black Panther follows suit by compiling these elements in stylish fashion. However, the magic of Marvel seems to be lacking with this one. Although the characters are convincingly portrayed, the attempts to make them compelling fall a little short. Overall the plot is a bit lacking also. The most sympathetic and compelling character is the villain. Overall, there is not ever a big redemptive moment for the hero of the film other than an epiphany that Wakanda should slowly share its technology with the world.
Michael B. Jordan's performance as the antagonist is one of the best (if not the best) performances in the movie. Not only is his acting great, but the "because" style of storytelling that narrates him deepens this character. Not only is he driven by revenge, which is what some movies run solely on, but he sees how the Wakandan technology can benefit the world. Sadly, as with every villain, there is a fatal flaw to his thinking. He wants to use the Wakandan technology to advance the Wakandan agenda for ultimate domination of the world. With his back story, we as the audience can understand and sympathize with him, making him one of the best Marvel villains to date.
Additionally, Black Panther is a film that will make you think and this is one of the most important aspects any film can provoke. If you leave the cinema in a pondering mode, something has been done correct.
All in all, I give this film a 7.5/10. I think with time this film will age well and grow more and more on everyone. It lacks in making the titular character sympathetic, but does an amazing job of creating a complex villain. This film is far from the cellar of Marvel, but it does not crack the elite group either. It is a solid entry into the Universe and provides a great outlook for the next stage in the Marvel evolution.